GLW1202: Eight Silverdale Wells

Saturday 6th May 2012

It is almost three month since our last GLW.  Where has the time gone?

Margaret has wanted me to take her round the Wells of Silverdale since the BOOTboys visit in February last year (BB1103).  Given how long we have lived up here and our former connection to Far Arnside, it is remarkable that neither us knew much about this area.

The OS map shows nine wells in the vicinity of Silverdale.  One is out on a south-east limb, at Slackwood Farm, and did not look publicly accessible.  However, it seemed that the other eight could be linked into a circular walk.

Sunny days have been in short supply recently, particularly when we have been able to get out (one reason for the dearth of GLWs) but today looked good, although there was the likelihood of some cloud passing through.  Exactly what happened.

We left the car in the parking area just north of The Row and headed northish on the path not marked on the map but clearly a legitimate access track through the wood to King William's Hill.  

On reaching the bridle path we turned left along the trail heading south west.  My plan had been first to visit the Woodlands well but Margaret's stomach was calling so we decided to climb up to the Pepperpot first as a prelude.  

This Queen Victoria Jubilee Monument 1887 provides an excellent viewpoint and lunch stop.


Well No. 1:  Elmslack

Dropping back down the hill, more or less on the route, we turned left back onto the bridle path.  The map showed the well as being close to where we joined the path above Elmslack but it took a bit of ferreting around before discovering that it was actually on the other side of a rather high garden wall.  The word "well" gives a bit of a wrong impression, as we ought to know as the OS map shows a well marked in our garden but, nowadays at least, it is nothing more than a boggy hole about two feet wide.  This one was a small stone surrounded structure but access for a clearer view was not possible.

Further along the track were three much larger structures seemingly for holding water, for what purpose we could not tell.  Not wells, however.


Well No.2:  Woodlands

We turned right (south) down past Woodlands.  It seems that this was once a pub with Great Beer but we got the impression those days were long gone.

The well is shown as being across a field on the right so public access was not available.  

We saw a small fenced off area in the right place so presumed that to be the well.


Well No 3:  Cove Well

The benefit of changing the intended order meant that we were able to wander through the north part of Silverdale past some rather fine houses before tuning down the minor road to Cove Well.  

The map suggests that it is just at the end of the track directly before it reaches the stony beach.  Nothing was to be seen there but there were raised areas on each side. Both were heavily overgrown so an examination revealed nothing other than some pretty cowslips!


Well No. 4:  Scout Wood

This is at the other end of the village so we followed the coastal path, with its fine views, before cutting up, almost to the Silverdale Hotel and wiggled our way through the village before reaching the path heading south-easterly through Scout Wood.

Here we found the most distinct well with a large pool gathering the water and filled with plants, not yet in bloom.

It is also very accessible by car, judging by the vehicles parked nearby.


Well No. 5:  Silverdale Village

The path north up the cliff is not for the faint hearted.  The climb is steep and could be tricky in the wet.  Even on a dry day, those with severe vertigo or mobility problems would better find another way round.

On reaching the road, there is a well marked on the left hand side, seemingly enclosed by walls.  Again, the well is on private property and there is a sharp drop down a limestone cliff face running along the side of the road,  We debated whether the well was at the top or bottom of the cliff.  Margaret, logically from her geographer's point of view, thought the well would be below the cliff.  I, on the other hand, put my faith in the map makers and presumed it to be at the top.  I convinced myself that I saw a stone covered something, exactly where marked on the map but I have to admit that as access was impossible, the evidence is inconclusive.

Of more interest was a road with impressive gate posts that once must have guarded an impressive house or estate.  There was also a strange extremely high wall on the boundary between two properties.  Remains of the old mansion, perhaps?


Well No. 6:  Burton Well

After heading east along road then bridle path, we came on Burton Well exactly where it should have been, below a limestone cliff.

Or at least the holding structure was there like a mini swimming pool.  

Exactly how the water reached it was not entirely clear.


Well No: 7: Bank Well

Just before the path reaches the road, there is a large pond, filled with water irises, that, if not the well itself, is clearly the consequence of the well.  Just from whence the water emerges to fill this area is something that perhaps we did not sufficiently explore.


Well No. 8:  The Row

There is a footpath that goes round the back of The Row. The Well is easily seen as it has a hand pump at its head.  It is what you conventionally think of as a well.  The water could be seen down the structure and its top was guarded by a strong grid.

From here, it was a short walk back to the car park, past some interesting house and garden features, one with meercats, another with a pond but not the result of a well as far as the map is concerned.

In summary, a good walk even without the wells but they certainly added to its interest.

Don, 5th May 2012



Distance:  5.2 miles;     Height climbed:  519 feet




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